Summertime Night Hike

Byrdcliffe Moon Hike

The other night, most of the Byrdcliffe Fellows decided to head off towards Overlook Mountain for a night hike. Fellow James Adelman brought his camera. There was a full moon. We could hike without flashlights, hopping over brooks and logs — even in the ambient darkness that stuck under the tree canopy.

James experimented (Prof.) Theo Mullen on a collection of long-exposure photographs to document the evening in with a group portrait. The blur above is Theo hurriedly painting each person with a flashlight over the 30-second exposure. The result is haunting — not because of the eerie light, but because of the way one remembers standing perfectly still for half a minute while you waited for a person to work his way to you and quickly blind you, before scurrying on. Frozen, anonymous, and artificial. Then spotlighted, stunned, and stiff. Then forgotten, recovering, and disoriented. Its all in this one picture, for each soul captured.